Those who have a habit of going out very frequently are now trapped in the house for months and cannot cope with things. There is a reduction in salary due to the drop in the economy. People are expected to work to bring normality in the world and to keep themselves busy. There are numerous factors to keep in mind when it comes to lockdown and work from home. There is a lack of work environment, a lot of disturbance and chaos. One is expected to do both house and office work due to their availability at home. There is frustration because of low income, and one has to continually look for solutions to make ways to pay rents and fees. People are not able to keep track of days and minutes.
Time is running at full speed, and it also seems like it isn’t moving at the same time. There is a lot of denial and depression all around the world. Things are no longer smooth, and hence the work-life balance is taking a toll on everyone. There is a lack of privacy and space at home, which also adds to the agitation. The workload of the company is the icing on the cake. Hence there are some ways in which work from home can be made fun and encouraging.
The following 15 steps can help guide the employees towards good work from home experience:
- 1) Build a new routine
- 2) Make a checklist
- 3) Adapt to a healthy lifestyle
- 4) Boundaries
- 5) Work like the environment
- 6) Technicalities
- 7) Socialization
- 8) Keep in the loop
- 9) Deadlines
- 10) Plan activities
- 11) Work on the weaknesses
- 12) Incentives and bonuses
- 13) Give feedback
- 14) Flexibility
- 15) Rest
1) Build a new routine
Don’t follow the routine that was developed before the world flipped out. Set a time table and distribute all the activities so that there is enough time for everything. Allotment of time and proper schedule can keep one glued and motivated throughout the day. Given that work from home may not have a fixed start and end time, it can cause a lot of stress and pressure if one doesn’t have a firm stand as there could be a possibility to be taken for granted. One will be expected to receive calls as per the convenience of others, so it’s essential to be firm.
2) Make a checklist
Putting a tick before each task is very satisfying and can encourage one to keep going without getting frustrated and tired. The time table should be such that there is enough buffer time between each activity to avoid lag and frustration.
3) Adapt to a healthy lifestyle
The way the day has begun for someone has much influence on how the rest of the days will go. The lockdown is the perfect time to start the healthy habits that one has always wanting to do but couldn’t due to time constraints. The day can begin with early morning meditation and exercise, followed by a wholesome, healthy breakfast, and a refreshing shower. The healthy start to the day will keep one energetic and active. Starting the day with eating something nutritious instead of junk can not only help in boosting immunity but concentration as well. Early to bed and early to rise has always been the go-to mantra for all.
Since it’s impossible to go to a particular place to do the office work, some limitations should be made for the family members so that there is no expectation, disappointment, and confusion later. The family members should be considerate and understand that it is impossible to entertain household activities in the middle of the work.
5) Work like the environment
It is challenging to get the feel and seriousness of work when done from home, so in such a case, there must be an environment made for employment. Just like playrooms and study areas are made for kids at home in the same way, a portion of the house can be dedicated as a workplace. Table, chair, stationaries, and other relevant things can be kept together and organized in a way that it gives the workplace vibes. One can stick post it’s and decorate that area; however, they want to replicate the look of the cabin they have in their office. To further get the seriousness, it is also advisable for people to sit for work in their office look as it will help them concentrate and get the feel of being in an office.
Factors such as the appliance used and the connectivity of the internet and signal should be kept in mind. If the laptop is not in its best state, then it can make the work more frustrating. Get the computer fixed and make sure that there are proper connectivity and signal at home. Buffering and slow internet can instantly boost the frustration level.
Like every healthy office environment, employees have a habit of talking to their colleagues and discuss the reports and other office-related things. Since sitting together in one place isn’t possible anymore, there is still an option to stay connected with friends from the office. A video call on zoom or Skype with a colleague can help to reduce that problem. The video call will not only help in interaction but also aid in motivation. One employee can get motivated by looking at another one, and it can help in encouraging them to work and make them realize that they are not alone.
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8) Keep in the loop
The heads of the office must remain in constant contact with their employees. An update should be given to those in the office to prevent them from feeling blank and out of the loop. It should be the boss’s responsibility to have a one to one interaction with every employee to identify an issue that he/she is facing while working from home. Regular conference calls and meetings can help the employees in staying busy and connected. It will add familiarity and less amount of change for the employees.
The work allotted to the employees should be done along with a deadline. If not given by the boss, then the colleagues should set a deadline for one another. This will keep people busy. Work will be done on time and keep everyone engaged. The deadlines along with the checklist will help one realize that some productive work has been done, and feeling of hopelessness and frustration will be significantly reduced.
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10) Plan activities
Events and activities that are usually done in the office should be continued. Games should be organized regularly, to keep the energy alive and to bring some enthusiasm back. Employees can take turns and plan games for the weekend, and these games can be based on their area of interest. This will help bring out hidden talents, act as an ice breaker, and erase the feeling of boredom and monotony. If the concept of celebrating an employee’s birthday is there is an office, then it should be continued. The employee should be made to feel special by receiving warm wishes. This, too, can be done on the video call. The lockdown can be utilized to bring the employees together and fill in the gaps.
11) Work on the weaknesses
The boss should make an effort to motivate and boost every employee’s confidence. Tasks and activities should be given to the employees so that it enhances their performance at work. The negatives and positives should be identified, and the employees should be made to work on them. This will boost their confidence and also encourage them to do better.
12) Incentives and bonuses
The companies that are well established and are not showing any loss in business can take it as an opportunity to increase the salary of their employees. There is much money saved from travel, electricity bills, and other expenses. The money saved by the company can be used to give a bonus to their hard-working employees; this will reduce the pressure on their heads and also keep them cemented to their work.
13) Give feedback
There should be transparency between the company and its employees. The employees should be allowed to give their views on how the company is being run; there should be room for ideas and suggestions by the staff. An approach to improve the way the work is being done can benefit the company and its employees. The employees should also receive feedback from the company, and their performance should be assessed and discussed. This will help keep a performance track of every employee and reduce the possibility of friction and confusion.
Now that the work needs to be done from home and there is nowhere to go, there is an advantage of flexibility. In case, due to some home-related chore, the exact time table was not followed, it should not become a reason for agitation and irritation as one should keep the option of modification in mind. If the work assigned is not done in the morning due to some reason, then one should not panic, the work can be done in the afternoon or evening. There is a lot of travel time that is being saved, so it is fine to not stick to the exact schedule all the time. However, one should try to follow the routine as much as possible because otherwise, it can nullify the entire purpose.
One cannot sit in one place for long, sitting in front of the laptop in the same posture all day can be tiring and unhealthy at the same time. It is advisable to take 10 minutes to break after every 45 minutes. Work without a break can lead to tiredness and fatigue. Small breaks can help to keep it active for the rest of the day. The phone calls from the office can be taken by walking while having a conversation. It will not only help in having some mobility but also help one to wake up from sleep. Healthy snacks and beverages can also be consumed while at work to get energized.
It all comes down to the perspective one has. Work from home can undoubtedly be confusing and frustrating, but one should also try to look at the other side of the road. Staying at home for months can help members of the family to reconnect and bond again. This wouldn’t have happened if one had to sit in the office away from home for hours.
There is much money that is being saved due to the lockdown. This can help in refining one’s accounting skills and can build the habit of saving. The work from home concept has made people realize that a balance between work and home can be created. The ones who don’t usually help at home have realized that they have hidden talents and can also cook well.
The time away from the office environment can be utilized to stay fit and in help in personality development. New skills and programs can be learned in an enormous amount of time. Digital engagement activities should be incorporated exclusively. Online courses and skills determined can enhance CV and improvise knowledge and work performance.
Companies should encourage their employees to do better and identify the potential they have. The daily dose of encouragement should be given in the form of calls and webinars. Influential personalities should be invited to give talks and address the budding talents in the office. This is the time for unity and teamwork, and hence the energy should be put towards positivity.
A planned routine and focussed approach can help in making the work more manageable than it looks. Support from the family and a comfortable environment can further enhance the ease of work. Engage in activities that calm the mind, listen to music, read a novel, or talk to a friend when taking small breaks between tasks. Allow the brain to rest, eat healthy, and take short naps to refresh the body and soul.
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Things should be slowed down in terms of work, and the rush can add to the stress and tension. Hard work, dedication, and determination are all that is needed, whether it is about working from home or away from it, the key to success remains the same.